Big Changes part 3 – Full Circle

Imagine my chagrin when I saw this post still sitting in my drafts.  For the one or two of you out there who were waiting anxiously for the final part of the story of how we came to be on staff at the church – I’m sorry and here it is.  For those who missed the first two, you can catch up by clicking here and then here. For the rest of you, well, hopefully someone else has blogged something more interesting today 🙂

 

It seems like yesterday that we were knee deep in deciding whether to make the leap and now here we are knee deep in a new ministry.  Bill quit his job two weeks earlier than planned and started at the Ridge on Feb. 18th.  His first week saw a conference, a bout with the flu and a hospital visit to members of the church who had been in an accident.  Subsequent weeks have been just as crazy.  And while his job description (which he received after accepting the offer – talk about faith 🙂 ) entails enough work for three different people, I can tell that he is more at peace and excited about work than I’ve ever seen him. 

It has been amazing to look back and see how God has brought us full circle.  We started out looking to go into ministry right off the bat, but took a few detours.  In hindsight, I think my younger self would have probably gotten chewed up and spit out by life in the ministry 🙂  I was way too naive and thin-skinned to handle it. It’s awesome to see the life events that we’ve experienced and how they have shaped us to be prepared for this opportunity. 

It’s hard to describe the transition, because in some ways it was very subtle while in others it felt enormous.  We didn’t move or switch churches.  We were already involved and knew lots of people.  It was just a shift in our roles. You’re still the same person, doing many of the same things, but all of a sudden you have this new weight of responsibility.  You feel like you’re accountable to everyone. What I have to remind myself, being the people-pleaser that I tend to be, is that I am ultimately only accountable to One.  It can also feel like you’re being targeted by the enemy.  He will do anything to get your focus off of what God has you doing.  I think that’s true for anyone doing a good work, not just staff, but it does feel like the heat has been turned up a bit 🙂   

There are some great perks that we have enjoyed.  It has been wonderful to have Bill so close to home. (Especially with the price of gas!)   It has also been fun to get to know the other staff families better.  Bill comes home with some great stories.  I hate to think of the stories he might be sharing with them!  They’re just fun people with a love of life and a passion for Jesus and we’re so blessed to be working with them.  It’s also awesome to be a small part of seeing people’s lives changed ~ whether they are coming to know Christ for the first time, rededicating themselves to living for Him or making Him the focus of their family.  What a privilege.

We are not perfect people by a long stretch.  I am sure we are going to mess up and make some mistakes.  My hope is that the people of the church will continue to be patient with us as we navigate this new terrain.  We are so thankful for the love that they’ve shown us.  You just can’t know what it has meant.

And if you take anything away from this post, I pray that it is this:

When you feel like God is calling you to do something, just do it.  He will make a way. And it will be both the best and the most challenging thing you can do.

 In his support letter, Bill used a quote from Mark Batterson, author of In the Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day to describe how he felt about coming on board with CATR.  This particular passage was in an article in a Catalyst groupzine.  Bill used only the first part, but I love the whole thing, so I’ve included it.  It said this:

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals.  Pursue God-ordained passions.  Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.  Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution.  Stop criticizing and start creating. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences.  Consider the lilacs. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can.  Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshipping what’s right with God.  Burn sinful bridges. Laugh at yourself.  Keep making mistakes.  Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks.  Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away. And remember: if God is for us, who can be against us?

 

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